Walter Pater and the Language of Sculpture is the first monograph to discuss the Victorian critic Walter Pater's attitude to sculpture. It brings together Pater's aesthetic theories with his theories on language and writing, to demonstrate how his ideas of the visual and written language are closely interlinked. Going beyond Pater's views on sculpture as an art form, this study traces the notion of relief (rilievo) and hybrid form in Pater, and his view of the writer as sculptor, a carver in language. Alongside her treatment of rilievo as a pervasive trope, Lene Ã˜stermark-Johansen also employs the idea of rivalry (paragone) more broadly, examining Pater's concern with positioning himself as an art critic in the late Victorian art world. Situating Pater within centuries of European aesthetic theories as never before done, Walter Pater and the Language of Sculpture throws new light on the extraordinary complexity and coherence of Pater's writing: The critic is repositioned solidly within Victorian art and literature.
Lene Østermark-Johansen is Reader in English at the University of Copenhagen. She is the author of Sweetness and Strength: The Reception of Michelangelo in Late Victorian England (Ashgate 1998) and has published extensively on Pater, Swinburne and Wilde.
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